Tag Archives: speakers training

Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities & Conferences and Christian Communicators Registration is Open!

newspapersYes, it’s the 3rd Tuesday, so it’s the day to find YOUR next writing opportunity!

1.  Alaska Magazine Submission Guidelines for Freelance WritersAnd yes, we have a couple of writers who live in Alaska, so girls, this is for you!

2.  The Cattleman Magazine – Guidelines for Writing for The Cattleman Yes, we have some cowgirls, too. :-)

3.  Alive Now writers guidelines and theme list

4.  Chicken Soup for the Soul possible book titles - They’re always looking for new stories!

5.  American Girl Magazine accepts entries by children!

6.  Bible Advocate and Now What? writer’s guidelines

7.  Faith Today: Canada’s Christian Magazine

8.  Submission guidelines for BABYBUG, LADYBUG, SPIDER, ASK, CRICKET, and CICADA magazines for babies through teens

9.  Writer’s guidelines for Catholic Digest.

10. Eldridge Plays and Musicals submission guidelines

11.  Photo Life could be looking for your photos!

12. Sasee Magazine for Women. It’s all about women. It’s all about you.

13. Mary Kaarto is looking for counselors.  “I’m looking to interview licensed or certified counselors that deal with substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide prevention, grief counselors, pastors who offer couples counseling and anyone with active involvement in an unemployment ministry for a book I’m writing. Please contact me with your credentials at marykaarto@marykaarto.com. Thank you.”

14. Grace Publishing is accepting manuscript submissions

15. Jennifer Hallmark is taking blog submissions for 2016: Have you ever been overwhelmed by gratefulness over an act of kindness by a friend, family member, or organization? Have your children or spouse done something so sweet you just have to share? I have openings on my website’s blog page, Small Acts of Kindness, scattered throughout the rest of this year. I post every Monday.

I’m looking for a 300-700 word story sharing your experience. Please include photos or pictures you’d like me to post, book blurb and cover. I also will add any links and a short bio if you’d like.

Please reply to jenlhall63 (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested. For examples, go to http://jenniferhallmark.com/blog/  Thanks! p.s. We also have interviews open on the Writing Prompts blog for the second half of the year.

Well, that should keep you busy for a while! Be sure to let me know when you get that publication!

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Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Conferences are your ticket to success!

Here’s a list of upcoming writing and/or speaking conferences. Make your plans now to attend at least one conference a year. You wouldn’t expect to get a job without being prepared and qualified, would you? You can be sure your chances of publication increase with your training and experience in writing as well.

1.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

2.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Collierville, TN

3.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in April: Various locations and dates

4.  Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

5.  Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference: April 15-16, 2016, Fullerton, CA

6.  Writing Success 25: April 30, 2016, Stoneboro, PA

7.  Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 11-14, 2016, Estes Park, CO

8.  Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat: April 20-23, 2016, Andalusia, AL (This is a NEW conference!)

9.  Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 13-14, 2016, Redmond, WA

brmcwc 201610. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

11. West Texas Writers’ Academy: June 6-10, 2016, Canyon, TX

12. Write to Publish: June 8-11, 2016, Chicago area

13. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 10-12, 2016, Ripley, WV

14. New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

15. St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

16. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference: June 23-25, 2016, Elizabethtown, KY

17. Romance Writers of America: July 13-16, 2016, San Diego, CA

18. Greater Philly Christian Writer’s Conference: August 3-6, 2016, Langhorne, PA

19. Taylor University’s Professional Writing Conference: August 5-6, 2016, Upland, IN (This is a brand new conference!)

20. Atlanta Christian Writers Conference: August 18-20, 2016, Marietta, GAccclogosmall

21. Christian Communicators Conference: August 24-28, 2016 The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open in March. Registration opens today! Don’t delay–Only 30 slots available!

22. American Christian Fiction Writers: August 25-28, 2016, Nashville, TN

23. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 7-8, 2016, Grand Rapids, MI

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4 CCC girls 2012Ladies, it’s the day you’ve been waiting for! Christian Communicators Conference Registration is now open!

Could this be YOUR year to take the next bold step into your speaking ministry? Whether you’re novice just testing the waters, or an experienced speaker with years of events behind you, this conference is just what you need!

All-inclusive package, including video and headshots? Yes!

Ongoing mentoring and networking opportunities? Yes!

Ongoing community support of like-minded sisters? Yes!

Intimate conference of only about 30 ladies, set in the beautiful NC mountains at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove? Yes!

Let this be the year you find out what all the excitement is about.

Anonymous comments from last year’s post-conference evaluation:

“It was unforgettable. Life-changing. It anchored me to a breakthrough understanding of my calling. It was a deep cleaning of my soul, an inspired 4 days that will affect the rest of my life.”

“I’ve attended many conferences and, hands down, this is the best one EVER! It was well-planned and executed. I would have loved to stay another day…”

“I’m a conference junkie, and I’ve never seen a conference so adept at facilitating relationship-building before…”

 Find out more…

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Thanks for sharing!

#Writing opportunities & conferences. #Christian Communicators registration now open! #publicspeaker (Click to Tweet)

Happy writing and speaking!

Vonda

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We’re Celebrating YOU Today! And Christian Communicators Registration is Opening Soon!

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

FreeDigitalPhotos/Iosphere

It’s time to celebrate YOU with our Christian Writer’s Den Kudos!

Congratulations to the following Christian Writer’s Den friends who’ve been doing the work and finding success!

1. Cathy Baker (SC): I’ve been asked to be regular contributor to the Piedmont Women’s Center site. (Vonda here: I LOVE Piedmont Women’s Center, our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Thank you for reaching out to these precious mamas and babies!)

2. Cheryl Barker (KS): A poem of mine that’s been previously used by Blue Mountain Arts has been included in their new gift book compilation I Love You, Mom. It released February 1st.

3. Andrea Merrell (SC): I am very excited about being part of the faculty at the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference (ACWC) in Marietta, GA in August. I will be teaching a workshop, meeting with conferees, and doing a short keynote. If you live in that area, I would love to see you there.

4. Beth Fortune (SC): I was asked to speak at a Mother-Daughter Banquet at a church in Monck’s Corner, SC in May.

5. Marilyn Nutter (SC): Had a dialog– The Owl Song– with her granddaughter, published in Wit
and Wisdom for the Wee Ones: A Whimsical Collection of Endearing Quips and Quotes compiled by Eileen Rife.

Friends, if you didn’t have anything to share in our Kudos this month, be sure to check out the writing opportunities I’m collecting for you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~mogo

Who MoGo’d in February?

These friends wrote at least 7000 words on a book project in January and earned an entry in the 2016 drawing for $100 at the end of the year!

#5: Diana Leagh – 54,643 words
#6: Amanda Everett – 8,411 words
#7: Susan Baganz – 8,567 words

Way to go, writers! And readers, if you want to join in the fun and have a bunch of chances to win $100 at the end of the year, check out the MoGo7000 Challenge. It’s free!

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christian-communicators-promo-cove-2016Drumroll please…We’re pleased to announce that your wait is ALMOST over!

Christian Communicators Conference registration will open one week from today! This is the 6th conference and will be held August 24-28 at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

The dates are set, the faculty is lined up, The Cove is anticipating our return, and Carolyn and I are excited to watch as God brings another amazing group of sisters into the community!

Join us this year as we welcome our expanded, experienced Christian Communicators leadership team!

With registration limited to only 30 ladies and membership lasting long past the conference, your experience is like no other.

As many have said and you may have heard:
Christian Communicators is more than a conference…it’s a community.

Your Christian Communicators relationship doesn’t end at the close of Sunday. Instead, you’ll discover it’s just the beginning! After attending CCC, you’ll be part of a vibrant, exciting group of ladies who experience continued promotional and educational opportunities to learn and grow as speakers, writers, and sisters in the Lord.

At a Christian Communicators Conference, less truly is more… ccc girls on couch Oct '11

  • You won’t be surrounded by hundreds of women…but you’ll be embraced by a few who will become lifelong friends
  • You won’t experience long lines for dinner…but you’ll have long conversations over dessert
  • You won’t need change for vending machines…but shared stories at afternoon tea can change your life
  • You won’t find big stages…but you’ll find lots of big hearts

Come and learn in a small, intimate setting…
then go out and change a great big world!

Your all-inclusive package includes everything you need to start or expand your speaking ministry!

  • How to create and deliver a message? It’s in there!
  • How to dress? It’s in there!
  • How to promote your ministry and gain new speaking opportunities? They’re in there!
  • Headshots? Yes!
  • Video footage? Yes!
  • Business forms…determining your fees…generating additional income…
  • Social media training…fine dining etiquette…a lovely afternoon tea…
  • The list goes on and on.

As a participant in this unique conference, you’ll learn how to:

  • Discover your ministry focus and mission
  • Create compelling messages by including Biblical Truth and your own experiences and stories of life
  • Incorporate drama, music, props, and humor into your presentations
  • Use the stage to your best advantage
  • Dress for the occasion
  • Develop the forms, manage the paperwork, and set up an organized system
  • Use social networking to share your ministry with others
  • Get your information into the hands of event planners
  • Interact professionally with church and business leaders, including protocol and etiquette
  • Face your fears and move forward in the call God has placed on your life

WC&T-Tony Fraga

 

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give
the reason for the hope that you have.  I Peter 3:15

 

The Christian Communicators Conference Package is ALL-INCLUSIVE!

Yes, CCC’s program package is all-inclusive. You won’t find a more complete program anywhere!

  • Lodging for 5 days and 4 nights
  • Meals from Wednesday dinner through Sunday lunch
  • Snacks, access to the free yogurt bar and cappuccino machines, and continuous coffee and soft drinks
  • A lovely afternoon tea, appropriate for tea attire, if desired
  • Classes, breakout sessions, and training
  • Handouts, notebook, and bag
  • Reproducible ministry forms
  • Professionally recorded video of your presentation
  • Headshot session with professional photographer
  • Fine dining etiquette class
  • Two additional classes on video for continued home study
  • Limited registration
  • Critiques
  • Give-aways
  • Free airport pick up and return
  • Friendship and support from ministry-focused women
  • Personal one-hour phone appointment with Carolyn or Vonda after conference

There are no surprise expenses!

 

CCC 2013 fancy stageThis is an exciting week of learning, growing, and hearing from the Lord. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out last year’s Christian Communicators Testimonial Page to hear from some of our graduates. Then we hope you’ll head on over and check out the Registration Details, Schedule, Leadership Team, and Scholarships.

Don’t let another year go by without taking the next step in your speaking journey.

 

Our prayer is that this week will change your life and equip you to fulfill the plan God has for you!

Please feel free to check out last year’s details at www.ChristianCommunicators.com. The new details and registration will go live next Tuesday!

We’d love to hear from you. :-)

Blessings,

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities & Conferences Collected Just For YOU!

newspapersThis is the 3rd Tuesday and that means I have lots of writing opportunities for you!

We’ve had lots of Christian Writer’s Den writers find publication through the monthly writing opps and contests. Could this be your month?

As always, remember to check out the publication to discover their voice and slant, and then follow instructions carefully.

1.  Adoptive Families Magazine

Adoptive Families is the leading information resource for families before, during, and after adoption. We want to hear your stories. We encourage you to
share your insights and experiences with other adoptive families. And we’re always looking for great writing.

2.  Utmost Christian Writers Poetry Contest

3.  BJU Press

Writing opportunities for Christian fiction and biographies for children and teens; Christian nonfiction for adults.

4.  Christian Devotions Ministry Submissions

Christian Devotions is always looking for devotions. And they love working with new writers who are willing to learn!

5.  WritersWeekly.com posts a list of paying markets every week!

6.  Chicken Soup for the Soul is always looking for writers. Currently looking for poetry and stories about Blended Families, College Students, Dreams, Teachers, The Joy of Christmas, and The Spirit of Canada.

7.  Connecticut Magazine

8.  Women’s Adventure Magazine is no longer a paying print market, but it’s open to submissions that can build your resume!

9.  Homeschooling Today only accepts completed articles. No queries, please.

10. Canoeroots North America’s only canoeing and canoe camping magazine.

11. GoNOMAD magazine, inspiration and links to plan your trip

12. Cruising World Guidelines for Writers and Photographers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Conference Room fdp Pixomar

If you’re serious about writing or speaking, you’ll be serious about attending conferences!

Here’s a list of upcoming writing and/or speaking conferences. Make your plans now to attend at least one conference a year. You wouldn’t expect to get a job without being prepared and qualified, would you? You can be sure your chances of publication increase with your training and experience in writing as well.

1.  Writers Advance Boot Camp / Asheville Christian Writers Conference: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

2.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 24-28, 2016, Leesburg, FL

3.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 11-12, 2016, Spartanburg, SC

4.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

5.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Colliersville, TN

6.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in April: Various locations and dates

7.  Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

8.  Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference: April 15-16, 2016, Fullerton, CA

9. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 11-14, 2016, Estes Park, CO

10. Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat: April 20-23, 2016, Andalusia, AL (This is a NEW conference!)

brmcwc 201611. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 13-14, 2016, Redmond, WA

12. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

13. West Texas Writers’ Academy: June 6-10, 2016, Canyon, TX

14. Write to Publish: June 8-11, 2016, Chicago area

15. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 10-12, 2016, Ripley, WV

16. New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

17. St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

18. Romance Writers of America: July 13-16, 2016, San Diego, CA

19. Taylor University’s Professional Writing Conference: August 5-6, 2016, Upland, IN (This is a brand new conference!)

20. Christian Communicators Conference: August 24-28, 2016 The Billy Graham Training Center at Theccclogosmall Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open in March. (I’ll see you there!) Please note: The 2016 conference isn’t uploaded quite yet, but it will be soon! Please don’t register yet. :-)

21. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 7-8, 2016, Grand Rapids, MI

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Well, that’s should keep you busy for a while. Happy writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities and Conferences

newspapersHello, Christian Writer’s Den friends. This is our monthly Opportunities issue, so let’s see if we can help you get published! Let’s start with writing opportunities compiled just for you.

1.  Bethany House Miraculous Answers to Prayer Call-out deadline has been extended to January 31, 2016!

2.  Donna Goodrich is working on a caregiver book. While it will include inspiration, devotionals, and humor, she also wants practical information to help caregivers find their way in the labyrinth. You can get guidelines for that project by emailing Donna at: msencourager [@] cox [dot] net

3.  Cat Fancy writer’s guidelines 

4.  Wisconsin Trails writing guidelines

5.  DollarStretcher.com writing guidelines

6.  Blue Ridge Country editorial guidelines

7.  AmericanCatholic.org writing guidelines

8.  Working Mother writers guidelines

9.  Astronomy Magazine article submission guidelines

10. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine writers’ guidelines

11.  Lots of writing opps and contests listed at Christian Writers Submission Information by Sally Clark

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Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of StuartMiles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’re serious about writing and speaking, you’ll be serious about attending

conferences. 

When I first started this writing journey, I didn’t have money for conferences, so I asked my family and friends to contribute to my conference fund rather than giving me gifts for Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day, anniversary, and Mother’s Day. That went a long way towards my conferences. You might want to try it, too.

Here’s a list of upcoming writing and/or speaking conferences. Make your plans now to attend at least one conference a year. You wouldn’t expect to get a job without being prepared and qualified, would you? You can be sure your chances of publication increase with your training and experience in writing as well.

1.  Weekend with the Writers: January 29-30, 2016, Greenville, SC

2.  Writers Advance Boot Camp / Asheville Christian Writers Conference: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

3.  Florida Christian Writers Conference: February 24-28, 2016, Leesburg, FL

4.  Carolina Christian Writers Conference: March 11-12, 2016, Spartanburg, SC

5.  Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

6.  Mid-South Christian Writers Conference: March 19, 2016, Colliersville, TN

7.  American Christian Writers Mentoring Retreats begin in April: Various locations and dates

8.  Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

9.  Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference: April 15-16, 2016, Fullerton, CA

brmcwc 201610. Colorado Christian Writers Conference: May 11-14, 2016, Estes Park, CO

11. Northwest Christian Writers Renewal: May 13-14, 2016, Redmond, WA

12. Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference: May 22-26, 2016, Ridgecrest, NC (I’ll see you there!)

13. Write to Publish: June 8-11, 2016, Chicago area

14. West Virginia Writers Conference: June 10-12, 2016, Ripley, WV

15. New England Christian Writers Retreat: June 17-19, 2016, Hamilton, MA

16. St. David’s Christian Writers Conference: June 22-26, 2016, Grove City, PA

17. Christian Communicators Conference: August 24-28, 2016 The Billy Graham Training Center at Theccclogosmall Cove, Asheville, NC. Registration will open in March. (I’ll see you there!) Please note: The 2016 conference isn’t uploaded quite yet, but it will be soon! Please don’t register yet. :-)

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Thanks for Sharing!

 #Writing & #speaking opportunities & conferences to help you get published & speak! @VondaSkelton (Click to Tweet!) 

Happy writing!

Vonda

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Mary Scro

IMG_1347 smallerWelcome to the Christian Writer’s Den as we learn more about the writing life from author and speaker, Mary Scro…

What fun to introduce Mary Graziano Scro today. Mary and I met years ago when she attended Christian Communicators Conference and she’s been a dear friend ever since! I’m honored to share her writing journey with you today.

Be sure and leave a comment for Mary and you’ll be in the drawing for a free copy of one of her books. Don’t forget to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

Now let’s get started. First of all, Mary, I’m always interested in hearing how authors got interested in writing.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write…and I’ve always loved to read. There’s something about the power of the written word to teach, inspire, and entertain that wakes up the gift God put inside me. When someone reads what I’ve written and it blesses them, well, there’s nothing like it. And the same goes for me when I am inspired by the work of others.

Oh, I know what you mean. I’m so encouraged when readers say my books helped or even entertained them. But we all have writing challenges. What are a few of yours? 

One is trying too hard to “get it perfect” without editing. Many years ago, a manager asked for a one-page management summary of a huge document. A co-worker and I labored over it all day but didn’t have a thing done when the manager came back to check. Instead of being mad, she laughed and said, “You’re trying too hard. You won’t get it right the first time so just get something down on paper, then you can edit.” She nailed it!

Another area is to “write clean”: keep verbs active, don’t use too many words when fewer will do, stay to the point. I’ve had awesome help from my Word Weavers critique group in that area. And I’ve learned helpful edit techniques, such as searching for “ing” words and reading my writing out loud.

One thing I learned: we can always improve our writing…and we need to keep working at that.

Yes, it’s taken me a long time to learn that trying to make my words “pretty” before moving on gets me nowhere! Please share when and why you started blogging.Mary Scro Intentional Fitness cover

My first blog post was in May, 2013. I like the spontaneous nature of blogging – sharing what God is showing me at that moment. At first I wanted to do something so great that many would flock to my blog and I’d be famous overnight. Then I came down to earth and realized we need all the voices we can get on the internet to tell people about our awesome God. He gifted me to write, I need to steward it well and share for Him, not for me.

Along those lines, I used to get discouraged when someone posted something similar to what I just posted. Now I get excited because I realize that I heard God – He is speaking the same message to many so He can reach our different audiences.

I had to laugh when I read that you expected readers would flock to your blog and you’d be famous overnight. Sounds like we have a lot of the same tendencies! Would you tell us a little about your books, and how they came about?

The first book, Intentional Fitness: Working Out Your Salvation, started as a teaching about how to move from the world’s ways to God’s ways to grow in your faith. We grow our faith because a lost world needs Jesus, and they won’t see Him unless He’s strong in us. Our faith doesn’t just grow with time; it takes effort, choice, and obedience. I share parts of my testimony to encourage others that if I can have an awesome life with God, they can too.

The second book, Intentional Warfare: Winning the Daily Spiritual Battles, started as a teaching about spiritual warfare in a class I co-taught at my church. I didn’t know what to teach – God literally fed it to me one week at a time. Then with my co-teacher’s encouragement, I wrote a book about it. Most of the book is about becoming aware of the daily battle that is going on around us, how to fight the right enemy in God’s strength, and how to live a more God-empowered life.

I think I see a theme here with the word “intentional.” Want to share about that?

My passion is to see Christians take responsibility for growing their faith – to talk, act, and live differently than people who don’t know Jesus. We need to be more than good people who do good things, we need to be supernatural people whose God works miracles in and through us. Most of my writing is about obedience and what amazing things God can do in our lives…and conversely, how we give our enemy, the devil, power when we try to go our own way.

Walking with Jesus is not about where we are in our journey, it’s about the direction we’re headed and our willingness to lay down our way for God’s. When we do, oh, what a glorious life!

Mary Scro Intentional Warfare coverAmen, sister! Thank you so much for being with us and sharing your story, Mary. I know your experience will be helpful for writers out there.

Friends, be sure to leave a comment and next week you could win a copy of Mary’s book. Just check back next Tuesday to see if you’re the winner!

Bio: Mary Graziano Scro, a graduate of Christian Communicators Conference, is an inspirational author, speaker, and blogger who intuitively weaves analogies and personal testimony with practical biblical teaching. Whether in person or at the keyboard, Mary loves sharing what God has done in her life to encourage others in their own walks with the Lord. Mary’s books, Intentional Fitness and Intentional Warfare, are available through Vox Dei Publishing Amazon.com, and she has more projects in the works. She lives in Virginia with her husband Don, her parents, two cats, a dog, and occasional rogue bears who raid the bird feeder.

You can reach Mary through:

Facebook: Life Is Not A Formula https://www.facebook.com/LifeIsNotAFormula/
Twitter: @marygscro
LinkedIn: Mary Graziano Scro  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/mary-scro/11/600/a4b
Blogs: Life Is Not A Formula (Mary’s website) at www.marygscro.com
Vox Dei Publishing blog at http://www.voxdeipublishing.com/blog
Almost an Author, WARFARE! Column at  http://www.almostanauthor.com/category/support/warfare/

 

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Yvonne Ortega, and Who Won Kathy Carlton Willis’ Book?

Yvonne Ortega headshotWelcome to the Christian Writer’s Den 5th Tuesday as we welcome author and speaker, Yvonne Ortega!

Yvonne and I go way back to 2005 or so when we first met through the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). In 2011 she attended the NCompass Writing Retreats that Edie Melson and I were leading at the time (before life got so crazy that we had to discontinue it). Then in 2012, she attended Christian Communicators Conference. During that time, she was cranking out books and blog posts, while also providing counseling in many areas of need.

Since then, God has continued to use her in powerful ways to reach those who need to hear the Good News of the love, grace, and mercy of our Lord. She has gone on to get even more training and as you’ll see, is now training others! But one of the things I love the most about Yvonne is her often-stated goal, “To reach millions for Jesus in my lifetime.” Wow. Can you see why I’m excited about sharing her latest book with you?

Be sure to leave a comment for Yvonne and you’ll be in the drawing for a free copy of her latest book, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward.

So let’s get started! Welcome, Yvonne. First of all, I’d like you to tell my friends a little about yourself.

I’m a small-town gal who enjoys the beach and music—everything from country western to classical music. Mention travel, and I’ll pack my bags right away. I watch comedies and laugh until my sides hurt.

As I’ve already mentioned, you’re a professional speaker and an author. How did you get interested in this line of work and ministry?

As a child, I gathered the neighborhood kids to play school. I was the teacher. Mama took me to the library weekly until I could go on my own. I would get lost in a book and forget to eat if it weren’t for Mama’s dinnertime call. I liked the smell and feel of paper and composition books and wrote stories. At thirteen, I submitted my first letter to the editor of the local newspaper.

After a diagnosis of breast cancer fourteen and a half years ago, I cried out to God through journaling. After lots of rewrites, I wrote my first book, Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer. I had to speak in order to market and publicize the book.

That led me to speaker training, and now I’m a World Class Certified Speaking Coach.

What led you to write your second book?

Prior to breast cancer, I had gone through a domestic violence marriage, divorce, and single parenting. After breast cancer, I had four car accidents in seven years. None were my fault, but I suffered injuries and damage to my car. Six years ago, my only child unexpectedly passed away following surgery. Each crisis forced me to my knees in prayer and to the Bible for answers. God showered me with his love, Yvonne Ortega book cover 2compassion, and faithfulness.

After the divorce, I became a Licensed Professional Counselor and became involved in Women’s Ministry. I met many hurting women who didn’t know they could move from broken to beautiful with God’s help. That’s how my latest book, Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward, came about. Passion drives me to share the message of these life lessons with women worldwide. Hurting people don’t need to give up. They can move forward and lead a productive, joyful life beyond measure.

What words of wisdom do you have for women who want to write about their painful past?

  • Make sure you’re ready to write about your painful past without an emotional, physical, or spiritual collapse. Take your time to heal. Ask God to show you when you can tackle the trauma of your past. He will show you.
  • Have you forgiven those who hurt you? God says in 1 Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.” I struggled to forgive my ex-husband. With God’s help, I’m no longer a prisoner of the past. Your readers want to know you aren’t either.
  • Acknowledge your pain and loss and admit you still grieve. I lost my mother before Mother’s Day and my only child three days after in the same year. Their birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mother’s Day trigger the pain. They’re in heaven, but I can’t call or visit them and can’t send them a card or a gift. They can’t call or visit me, or send me a card or gift either. That hurts.
  • If you present yourself as Wonder Woman, your readers can’t identify with you. And you can’t minister to them. Acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses.
  • In writing about your painful past, you answer a divine call. You minister to those you write and speak for. Your writing cannot be therapeutic journaling. There is a place for therapeutic journaling, but not for publication. For publication, include application, application, and more application. Have Scriptures, prayers, resources, links, quotations, etc. for the readers. Answer the question, “What’s in it for them?”

Your advice is right on target! Where can readers find your book?

Moving from Broken to Beautiful is available as a paperback and an ebook on Amazon and other online booksellers.

Do you have another book in progress?

I’m thrilled to say I’m halfway through writing a book on forgiveness.

Awesome, Yvonne! I didn’t know that! Thank you for joining us today. I pray God continues to bless you as you bless others.

And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for Yvonne and you’ll be in the Random.org drawing for a free book. Be sure to return next week to see if you’re the winner.

Yvonne Ortega book cover 1Readers, you can contact Yvonne through:

Her website: www.YvonneOrtega.com

Her blog: On the homepage of her website

Twitter: @yvonneortega1

Facebook: Yvonne Ortega

Facebook Community Page: Yvonne Ortega

To contact Yvonne about a speaking event, please visit her website or contact her directly at yvonne@yvonneortega.com

Bio: Yvonne Ortega is a World Class Certified Speaking Coach, an international speaker, author of Moving from Broken to Beautiful: 9 Life Lessons to Help You Move Forward and Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer and a contributing author to two anthologies. She has taught at major Christian writing conferences in the USA. Yvonne has been interviewed on radio and TV programs including Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, the Harvest Show, 100 Huntley Street, and Marnie’s Friends. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has taught Precept Bible Studies and in Bible Study Fellowship. Yvonne currently serves on the Advisory Board for Christians in Recovery. She served as the Regional Speaker Trainer of Virginia for more than three years and on the board of Kairos Prison Ministry. Subscribe to her newsletter and free weekly devotion at www.YvonneOrtega.com

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And who won Kathy Carlton Willis’ book, Grin with Grace?Grin-With-Grace_cover

The winner is:

Jean Wilund!

Congratulations, Jean! All you need to do is contact me with your snail mail address and Kathy will get your book right out to you!

And for you who didn’t win, here’s your direct Amazon link to Grin with Grace. I know you want your own copy so you’ll be able to grin through the tough times, too!

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Friends, I don’t know if you noticed, but both of these books are about how to get through those tough times in life. I didn’t plan this, but apparently God did! I hope you find that both of these books encourage you and lift you up through the human lessons and the supernatural love, grace, and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Grace and peace be your in abundance,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Majesty, Majesty

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

I have the joy of being at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville again this week. I can’t believe it, but this is our 6th Christian Communicators Conference and when we include our two Advanced conferences, this make our 8th! My goodness, how time has flown!

It’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. I often wonder how different my life might be if I had continued fighting with God, never submitting to His plan for a new, unique speaker’s training conference. I’m thankful He stuck with me. It’s been an exciting, scary, life-changing journey for me and for others.

But the more I consider what God has done, the more I realize what a small part I am of it. I have nothing to offer but my flawed, sinful self. If there is any gifting or talent, it came from Him. If there is any good in me, it is Him. On my own, I’m weak and empty-handed. I have nothing to offer. But praise Him, He loves me anyway.

As usually happens, the weeks leading up to the conference have been crazy. Simply too much to do and not enough time to do it. I have to admit that when I walked into the service Sunday morning, my mind wasn’t ready. Instead of calming my spirit and going straight to that place of worship, my heart and mind continued to work on my mental and written To-Do list.

But within minutes, the truth of the words on the screen cut through my fog of too much stuff and spoke to my fretful heart.

Majesty.

Soon my mind was quieted, my heart was at peace, and I was moved to real worship, acknowledging how great He is and how small I am. I may be empty-handed, but in His hand, I’m alive.

Written by Martin Smith and Stuart Garrard, this song says it all. It ministered to me again today as I wrote this post. I hope it touches you as well.

YouTube Preview Image

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
Psalm 104:1

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

 

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Interview & Book Give-Away with Nan Jones

Nan Jones new headshotFriends, it’s a joy to introduce my friend, author, speaker, and Christian Communicators speaker training graduate, Nan Jones, to you. Nan and I met many years ago when she attended one of the writing retreats Edie Melson and I used to lead in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. Since then we’ve watched her grow as a speaker and award-winning writer of The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife. We feel like proud mamas!

Be sure to leave a comment for Nan and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book. Don’t forget to return next week to see if you’re the winner. Now let’s hear from Nan!

Welcome, Nan! Let’s start by letting you tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in the mountains of North Carolina. My home is a farmhouse built in 1895 with a much loved wrap-around porch, complete with rocking chairs and porch swing. I have three adult children and one grandchild. I served as a pastor’s wife for 31 years—a great honor—but these years of ministry were some of the most painful and difficult in my life, thus my book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife. When I’m not writing or preparing messages for my speaking ministry, you’ll find me gardening, crocheting, reading or sharing a cup of coffee with a friend.

Will you share how you began your speaking and writing ministry?

As a child I was an avid reader and have always enjoyed the power of story. I am also an artist. Around age ten, I realized I could put my two passions together and paint with my words. It seemed to ooze out of me. When I was twelve I made a list of my life goals. Writing a book was number one.

Throughout my life writing was a hobby— something I did, not something I was. But a pen and paper was never far from me.

In 1992 we were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While attending a ladies’ conference I felt overwhelmed by the Spirit of God. He quietly whispered deep in my spirit, Nan, look at these ladies surrounding you. Even as they lift their hands in praise to Me, many are hurting deep within. You will take My message of love to them. You will teach them of My faithfulness, especially during the struggles of life.Nan Jones Perils book cover

For eighteen years I waited. I used those years to develop my faith, to be available for anything the Lord asked of me albeit teaching Bible studies, leading women’s ministry, writing and sharing devotions … whatever He asked, I did while awaiting the appointed time.

About five years ago my husband and I went through an extensive period of unemployment. It was at that time that my husband encouraged me to pursue my dream of writing and speaking full-time.

As a reader of your blog and book, I can totally confirm that you paint with words. I have to remind myself that coveting your gift of lyrical, beautiful writing is wrong!

What was the impetus of writing this book?

Pastors’ wives often live in silent pain. We have struggles, we experience enormous amounts of rejection, and our hearts are often ripped in two through the lonely fires of ministry. That sounds harsh, I’m sure, but most pastors’ wives will agree with me. My heart’s cry is that the pastor’s wife will realize she is not alone—that someone understands how she feels. I want her to walk away from this book with renewed confidence in her calling, with healing deep in her wounded spirit, and the realization that in her darkest moments God was with her—He is faithful.

Yes He is. Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

The word that comes to mind is diligence. Be diligent in all things and write for an audience of One. Let it be an offering and leave the results up to Him, whether it reaches thousands or just a handful of people. God’s ways are not our ways. In that knowledge I can cease striving, but remain diligent.

Where can readers find your book?

The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

So what’s on the horizon? Do you have another book in progress?

Yes, I’m working on another non-fiction piece tentatively called SEEING BEYOND THE VEIL. It’s about learning to look for the evidence of God in our lives. When we’re going through a difficult time, it’s easy to think God has abandoned us, but I’ve learned that during our darkest moments, the Lord is closest—He is drawn to our pain. But we must open our eyes to see Him. I’m also working on a Bible study for small groups by the same title. In addition, I’ve created a Facebook community page with a similar purpose: Seeing Beyond the Veil.

Thank you for joining us today, Nan. I pray God’s continued blessing as you continue to bless others! And readers, don’t forget to leave a message for you. You could win a free book!

Nan Jones Perils endorsementReaders, you can contact Nan through:
Her website: www.NanJones.com
Her blog: Morning Glory
Twitter: @NanJonesAuthor
Facebook: Nan Trammell Jones
Facebook Community Page: Seeing Beyond the Veil (a place to find the nearness of God when you need Him most)
Pinterest: Nan Jones, Author
To contact Nan about a speaking event or prayer retreat, please visit her website or contact her directly at nan@jubilantlight.com

Bio: Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. She has been published in several anthologies as well as the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire. Nan has also had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on several sites. She is thrilled to announce her debut book, The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife released June 30, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, Bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: “Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord” as she teaches her audience to go beyond the veil to find God’s Presence.

Thanks for Tweeting!

Are you a #pastorswife? Have you struggled with #hurts from the #church? Perils of a Pastor’s Wife is for you! @NanJones knows & understands. (Click to Tweet)

Happy reading and writing!

Vonda

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities, Contests, & Conferences; and Who Won Aleta You’s Book?

newspapersI LOVE the 3rd Tuesday of every month! Let’s start with writing opportunities I’ve collected just for you.

My goal on this day of each month is to make your writing life easier! Take advantage of these and we could soon be celebrating YOUR kudos, just like we did with Gail Cartee last week. :-) Don’t forget to study the magazine/publisher and follow guidelines carefully.

1.  Pelican Book Group is looking for book proposals for several imprints. Here are their guideline links:

2.  Adirondack Life Writers’ Guidelines

3.  Sasee Magazine Guidelines - It’s all about women

4.  Free Spirit Publishing GuidelinesMeeting kids’ social and emotional needs

5.  Toastmasters Magazine GuidelinesI know some of you are involved in Toastmasters. This could be your opportunity!

6.  Living a Better Life, Free Money-Saving Tips e-Zine Writer’s Guidelines

7.  Writer’s Guidelines for Humpty Dumpty and Jack and Jill Magazines

8.  Eating Well Magazine Writers’ Guidelines

9.  The Chronicle of the Horse Writers Guidelines

10. The Banner Writers’ Guidelines

11. Reach Out, Columbia magazine, a Christian magazine celebrating the life and work of Christ in ordinary people, is accepting Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year-themed articles and devotions as well as evergreen (all-season) Christian living articles and devotions. Articles are approximately 1,000 words, devotions are 600-700 words. Submission guidelines are at www.ReachOutColumbia.com or contact Lori Hatcher, editor, at Lori@ReachOutColumbia.com.

Pencil and trophy contest FDP digitalarts

Image courtesy of digitalarts/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Okay, that should be enough to keep you busy for a while. Don’t forget to report your successes for our monthly Kudos celebration!

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And here are some writing contests I found. Who will take the plunge?

1.  Cyle Young has started a new writing site, Almost An Author (A3), and he offers A3 writing contests!

2.  Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards for Short Stories But you must hurry! Deadline September 15, 2015!

3. Writer’s Digest Short Short Story ContestDeadline November 16, 2015

4. Writer’s Digest Poetry AwardsDeadline October 1, 2015

5.  WOWWomen on Writing Summer Flash Fiction Contest Deadline August 31, 2015

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If you’re serious about writing or speaking, you need to be serious about conferences!

1.  Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

2.  Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall3. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

4.  American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

5.  Writer-to-Writer: September 18-20, 2015, Murfreesboro, TN

6.  Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

7.  Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

8.  Next Step Writers Contreat (Yes, the spelling is correct. :-) : November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM

9.  Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

10. Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference: March 18-22, 2016, Mount Hermon, CA

11. Write2Ignite for Writers of Children’s Literature: April 1-2, 2016, Tigerville, SC

Thanks for Tweeting…

Writing opportunities, contests, & conferences from @VondaSkelton & Christian Writer’s Den! #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

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And last, but not least, who won the free copy of Aleta You’s book?

The winner is…

Nan Jones!

Congratulations, Nan. Contact me with your snail mail address and Aleta will get your book right out to you!

And for those who didn’t win, here is a direct Amazon link to Biblical Solutions for Daily Living.

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Thanks for Tweeting…

Writing opportunities, contests, & conferences from @VondaSkelton & Christian Writer’s Den! #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writer’s Headlines: Writing Opportunities and Conferences

newspapersWelcome to today’s bonus post of writing opps and conferences collected just for you!

First up, direct links to writing opportunities could be your ticket to publication! Be sure to follow guidelines carefully and send in your best work!

1.  Haiku Journal

2.  Naval History Magazine

3.  Adventist Review

4.  ADDitude Magazine for ADHD and LD

5.  Bible Advocate

6.  The Cattleman

7.  Insight magazine for teens

8.  Internet Genealogy

9.  North Carolina Literary Review

10. New Mobility

11. Outreach Magazine

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

12. Snowshoe Magazine

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And now let’s check out upcoming conferences!

1.  St. David’s Christian Writers’ Conference: June 24-28, 2015, Grove City, PA

2. Kentucky Christian Writers Conference: June 25-27, 2015, Elizabethtown, KY

3. Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference: July 29-August 1, 2015, Langhorne, PA

4. Atlanta’s Christian Writing Conference: August 20-22, 2015, Marietta, GA

ccclogosmall5. Christian Communicators Conference: August 26-30, 2015, Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, Asheville, NC. We are currently full, but the waiting list is open. Every year ladies on the waiting list have been able to attend. Maybe this could be your year! 

6. American Christian Fiction Writers Conference: September 17-20, 2015, Dallas, TX

7. Breathe Christian Writers Conference: October 9-10, 2015, Grand Rapids, MI

8. Blue Ridge Christian Novelist RetreatOctober 18-22, 2015, Ridgecrest, NC

9. Next Step Writers Contreat: November 12-14, 2015, Albuquerque, NM

10. Writers Advance Boot Camp: February 19-21, 2016, Asheville, NC (I’ll see you there!)

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Thanks for Tweeting…Sharing is sweet!

List of #writing opportunities & conferences just for you! @VondaSkelton #amwriting #pubtips (Click to Tweet)

Well, that does it for this month’s writing opportunities and conferences. I hope they help you on your writing journey!

Happy writing!

Vonda

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